The Process: Wear Your Heart
Bunny Paige is probably best known for my resin heart necklaces. Whether fully spiked or covered in sparkling crystal pavé it all starts with resin, pigment, and my Dremel. Want to know more? Let me tell you everything.
What is resin, anyway?
Resin is a polymer that is used in countless applications that you probably come across every day. I exclusively use artwork resin that is non-toxic and VOC-free which means no volatile organic chemicals (like formaldehyde) get released into the air during production. This is great for my health and even better for the environment!
Resin: A Short History
Resin casting is an old art and still used today in countless applications. Its popularity in the fashion industry surged during the Great Depression and World War II when precious metal was scarce and people longed for an affordable alternative that was light, cheerful, and whimsical. Coco Chanel brought resin jewelry into the realm of haute couture when she introduced her line of Bakelite accessories in Paris in 1925. Hollywood actresses soon embraced the look and began wearing the bold designs in vivid colors on the pages of magazines and the big screen. Whether vintage or new, resin is now a staple in every wardrobe.
How Do You Make Your Hearts?
I get asked this question so often that I have a name for how I hand make my heart pendants. I call it,
- Mixing -
Resin starts out as two parts that each kind of look like water. Once the two parts are mixed together the resin begins to thermoset, or harden, immediately but allows time to manipulate the material by pouring it into a mold or using it as paint which you'll see in my art pieces.
Lots of materials can be added during the mixing stage to give the piece its final color, texture, and finish. I add everything from dye, pigments, mica powders, artist's inks, glitter and more to my pieces to achieve their final look.
- Casting -
Casting is process of pouring the liquid resin into the shape that you want the final product to be. To create a mold, first I design the shape out of clay. Once the clay is dry I pour silicone rubber over the piece to create a mold that I can then use over and over again. This allows all of my pieces to remain uniform while still being 100% original and one of a kind.
- Sanding & Polishing -
Sanding & polishing is when I get to break out my all time favorite tool - my Dremel! Hand sanding and polishing each and every heart is tedious and messy but it's when everything starts to come together and the final product starts to take shape. Most people think my life is all glamour & sparkles but to be honest it's mostly power tools & resin dust.
- Spiking & Stoning -
One thing that surprises a lot of people is that I apply each and every single spike and crystal BY HAND! That's right.
Every. Single. One.
Armed with a Crystal Katana (yes, that's really the name and YES it's the most amazing tool for picking up tiny embellishments) I attach each spike and Swarovski crystal using an industrial strength jewelry adhesive for the spikes and an epoxy specifically designed by Swarovski for the crystals. This is the most time consuming part of the process but it's the part I find the most enjoyable. I can just put on music or an audio book and lose myself in spikes and sparkles for hours.
- All The Extra Stuff -
Oh, you thought we were done? Not yet! Next up is creating the chain, signature tag and matching Swarovski crystal bead embellishment. I do all this by hand too, cutting each chain to length and hammering out each and every one of my signature tags by hand. It's these finishing touches that brings everything together and sets a Bunny Paige piece apart from the crowd.
AND NOW WE'RE DONE! ❤